A New York City taxi driver has been suspended by the Taxi and Limousine Commission for wearing a swastika armband on the job.
The driver, 26-year-old Gabriel Diaz, was unapologetic in an interview with local media on Friday.
“I don’t hate Jews!” Diaz told WLNY-TV. “I’m critical of them, but I don’t hate them. That doesn’t mean that I’m anti-Semitic. That don’t make me a hater.”
Diaz came to the attention of the Taxi and Limousine Commission after multiple people sent photos of him wearing the Nazi emblem to the Anti-Defamation League and the Taxi and Limousine Commission.
While wearing the armband isn’t illegal — it’s free speech, after all — it does go against the commission’s rules to wear one while operating a cab.
Diaz is suspended for 30 days, the local media outlet reported.
“I believe that we’ve been told lies about Hitler our whole lives,” Diaz said, though he stopped short of Holocaust denial by saying he had “no comment” when asked about the six million Jews who died under Hitler’s reign.
He also acknowledged the fact that he doesn’t exactly fit the neo-Nazi stereotype.
“Whoever said you have to be white to be a nationalist socialist?” Diaz asked. “You don’t have to be white, it could be anybody.”
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